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Entries open for $1 million in science prizes

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Science & Innovation

5 May 2014

Entries open for $1 million in science prizes

Entries open today for the 2014 Prime Minister’s Science Prizes, which will award a total of $1 million in prize money to some of New Zealand’s top scientists and researchers.

A total of five prizes are presented each year, with the aim of highlighting how science underpins innovation and helps to build a more competitive and productive economy.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says the prizes are an important component in the Government’s programme of supporting and motivating New Zealand’s most talented scientists.

“The Prime Minister’s Science Prizes recognise researchers of the highest quality who are working on projects that are of real benefit to New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

“In addition, the prizes raise the profile and prestige of science, which has an important role to play in New Zealand’s economic growth and international competitiveness.

“I encourage all eligible top performing scientists to consider entering this year’s prizes.”

The awards also aim to encourage more students into science and technology based careers, with a $50,000 prize towards tertiary study costs for an outstanding secondary school student.

The Prime Minister launched the prizes six years ago. The 2013 winners of the top prize, valued at $500,000, were two University of Auckland professors who have pioneered inductive power transfer technology.

Professors John Boys and Grant Covic’s inventions are used throughout the world, from factories that depend on automated systems or clean-room environments, to charging electric vehicles (EV).

Other past winners have been researching in the areas of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, superconductivity, climate change science and food innovation.

The prizes are:

The Prime Minister’s Science Prize, $500,000
To an individual or team which has made a transformative discovery or achievement in science that has had a significant impact on New Zealand or internationally
The Prime Minister’s MacDiarmid Emerging Scientist Prize, $200,000
To an outstanding emerging scientist undertaking research for a PhD or within five years of the date of the award of a PhD
The Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, $150,000
To a science teacher for outstanding achievement in teaching science
The Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize, $100,000
To a practising scientist who is an effective communicator, to provide them with an opportunity to further develop their knowledge and capability in science media communication
The Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize, $50,000
To a secondary school student for outstanding achievement in carrying out a practical and innovative research or technology project.

Entries for four of the Prime Minister’s Science Prizes can be lodged up until 4 August 2014. The 2014 Future Scientist Prize will be awarded to the Supreme Award recipient from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s ‘Realise the Dream’ competition.

To find out more, visit: www.pmscienceprizes.org.nz

ENDS

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